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Weather and snow travel news: London snow alert brought forward with up to 5cm hitting south tonight as ‘worst travel chaos since Beast from the East expected’ – Evening Standard - https://travelporn.info | luxury travel sites

January 29, 2019 8:29 pm Categorised in:

Brits are braced for travel chaos as a blanket of heavy snow sweeps the country with temperatures set to plummet as low as -10C.

Up to 10cm of snow is expected in parts of Britain on Tuesday night and forecasters have warned icy conditions could bring major travel disruption.

The Met Office has issued four separate yellow weather warnings across most of the country. 

A warning covering London and the south east was brought forward four hours with up to 3cm of snow possible on low-lying grounds, according to forecasters.

Met Office meteorologist Sarah Kent told the Standard some Londoners could wake up to snowy parks and gardens on Wednesday.

A snowplow clears a lane on the M6 near the village of Shap in Cumbria (PA)

Heavy snow had already fallen in Cumbria by Tuesday lunchtime, with one unfortunate driver getting his van stuck in a ditch.

Cumbria Police urged motorists to “please slow down” after a car overturned on the M6 (Cumbria Police)

Cumbria Roads Police urged motorists to “please slow down” as it shared an image of a car overturned between junctions 36 and 39 of the A6 near Shap.

Drivers have been told not to travel in the worst conditions.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams told the BBC: “The worst cold weather travel chaos since last winter’s Beast from the East is expected.

“If you must travel, pack a blanket, shovel and food in case you get stuck.”

Meanwhile a band of rain pushing east across parts of England was likely to turn to snow in the south east during Tuesday night with snow continuing into Wednesday, forecasters said. 

Ms Kent said: “The rain across London is looking to turn into sleet and snow in some places before it clears overnight.

“In some places it may be possible to see up to 1 to 3cm of snow.”

Highways England traffic officers prepare to pull a van out of a ditch off the A6 (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Outbreaks of snow had already begun in Greater London this evening but flurries are currently falling onto puddles, she added.

She said: “By the time people wake up tomorrow morning there may well be some white stuff in gardens and some of the parks.”

Ms Kent warned clearing skies will see temperatures fall “quite sharply”, which could turn to ice.

A warning across much of the country for snow and ice came into force at midday, while a separate warning for the south east for up to 5cm was brought forward four hours to 5pm. 

A car drives through the snow near Castleton, central England on Tuesday (AFP/Getty Images)

Ms Kent said the mercury could fall as low as -10C in the Glens of Scotland overnight, while London should expect lows of -1C.

Transport for London issued a cold weather warning ahead of the wintry conditions.

Glynn Barton, Director of Network Management, said TfL will be de-icing trains, heating points and gritting roads in a bid to keep London moving.

Snowy conditions in Blaenau Ffestiniog in Wales (PA)

Higher ground in Surrey, Sussex and Kent could see up to 5cm of snow in places. 

As this clears, ice is likely to form on some surfaces tomorrow morning, the Met Office said. 

A warning for snow and ice across west and northwest Scotland and Northern Ireland also came into effect at 3pm on Tuesday and will remain in place until 11am Wednesday.

While a further warning for much of England and Wales from 3pm on Thursday predicts more snowfall.

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis added: “Drivers face some treacherous conditions as some truly wintry weather finally descends on large parts of the UK.

“We strongly recommend drivers reduce their speed and more than double the amount of space between themselves and the vehicle in front, giving them more time to react if they need to.

“But the bigger problem for most drivers is likely to be the threat of ice overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning’s commute. Roads and pavements will freeze overnight, leaving glass-like surfaces that will increase the risk of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians running into difficulties.”

UK Snow: January 2019 – In pictures

Andy Thomas, managing director of strategic operations at Network Rail, warned trains may be forced to slow down in adverse conditions.

“When conditions are very serious, trains might have to slow down – just as a car would on a road – this is so everyone can get where they need to go, safely,” he said.

At Heathrow Airport, the busiest in the UK, passengers have been told to check with their airline as the weather worsens.

A spokeswoman said: “Heathrow is closely monitoring and preparing for cold weather conditions forecast for the UK.

“Those travelling via Heathrow are encouraged to contact their airline for up to date flight information.”

A Land Rover in snowy conditions near Tan Hill in North Yorkshire (PA)

During Tuesday morning, a band of rain was expected to push from west to east falling as rain, sleet or snow, particularly at peaks in Wales and northern England and Scotland.

Throughout the day the wintry weather moved across the Midlands and into the south east.

Temperatures fell as low as -7C in the Highlands overnight, while London was at just about freezing as large parts of the country woke up to frost.

Snow showers could return on Wednesday and there is a risk of further disruptive snow and ice to parts of the country towards the end of the week.

Motorists faced difficult driving conditions on Tuesday morning as snow and sleet fall in some areas.

Traffic Scotland tweeted that snow was falling on parts of the M80 and M77 on Tuesday morning while Amey reported snow on the M8, M9 and A7.

In the Highlands, 10 schools were closed on Tuesday due to bad weather.